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Ranking Leader Characteristics

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by The Civs 6, Jul 2, 2020.

  1. The Civs 6

    The Civs 6 Warlord

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    Hello everyone,

    I learned so much about Civ 4 in my last few threads - I wanted to ask you all to consider which of the characteristics are strongest and weakest. Usually I thought that financial and organized were the best, but I have also discovered the power of expansionist, and industrious.

    I have not been impressed with protective (relying on city defenses has not paid off for me) or imperious (lots of settlers is great, but the upkeep cost becomes a problem).

    Creative is an interesting one, but getting an early library doesn't seem like such a big deal as to make it worth foregoing another trait that does a bit more. I'm also not impressed with charismatic or aggressive, since it seems like getting your Civ up and running is more important than your soldiers having a little boost to their combat ability. Spiritual is another interesting one, more because you can get Buddhism or Hinduism early because of how the techs are. But again, the ability to swap civics with no anarchy is actually quite powerful.

    Do I have it all wrong because I'm a noob? What do you think?
     
  2. lymond

    lymond Rise Up! (Phoenix Style!) Hall of Fame Staff

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    You are on the right track, though you did not mention the most powerful trait - Philosophical. Though its power comes from knowing how to use it.

    Agg has it's uses,but generally folks consider it and Pro to be the worst, with Pro the absolute worst.

    Charismatic I quite like and one must consider that it is semi-economic simply has cities can grow larger with 2 extra happies, so work more cottages earlier or run more scientists.

    Spiritual is very very good, but is an advanced trait. What I mean is that it offers the experienced player that knows how to use it effectively, such as temp civic switches for certain things or even diplo stuff.

    Although not a the top tier trait, EXP has always been my favorite and pairs very nicely with other good traits.

    Creative is higher tier. Fast Libraries ..yes! but also more convenience when settling cities.

    IMO:

    Top Tier - Philo and FIN (IND maybe)

    Second Tier - Creative, Expansive, Spiritual, Charismatic (maybe IND - a tweener so to say)

    Mid-Tier - Org, Imp

    Low Tier - Agg, Pro

    I'd say in recent years I value IMP more than I used to though in general it has a bad or meh rap. Again, really depends on if one knows how to take advantage of it and keep up the economy. Conversely, some of the best AIs are actually IMP leaders.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2020
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  3. drewisfat

    drewisfat Prince

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    Funny how reliably this thread pops up every 6 months :D

    Anyone who tries to take IND away from top tier will have to go to war with me. And I will outlast you... because I built the SoZ.

    I also think IMP is good, with a lot of its value coming from cheap gift cities.
     
  4. migalhone

    migalhone Monarch wannabe

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    Financial gives you more commerce for things you would be doing anyway, its a passive bonus that will almost always be adding up value.

    Expansive allows you to chop forests and settle away from fresh water without worrying to much. The cheaper worker lets you setup your empire faster. Cheaper granaries, the most universally useful building in the game, is also a plus.

    Creative is great for not needing a monument or religion to grow your borders, plus the cheaper library is very good to let you run science specialists early.

    Imperialistic cheaper settlers are very useful even if they are just 2-3 turns earlier, that makes a big difference overall.

    These above are the traits i like playing with the most. PHI, SPI, IND are traits that require more planning and active decision-making from the player, to really get the benefits. CHA is also good, but IMO not as impactful as my 4 favourites.

    For a list/ranking, i would have to agree with lymond's post.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2020
  5. Fippy

    Fippy Mycro Junkie Queen

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    Many traits get better and better as you move up in difficulty.
    Maybe the best example will be Ind, much less time on wonders..less room if you get boxed in makes them more important..and so on.
    Phi not close behind, on lower difficulties outexpanding AIs will do but on deity i.e. that won't always be possible (actually very unlikely) and then you really start looking at great peoples.

    Traits cannot really be ranked without mentioning for what difficulty.
     
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  6. 6K Man

    6K Man Bureaucrat

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    I would love to see a thread on "Easiest traits to leverage" - and accompanying notes on how to leverage the harder ones. FIN would be at the top of the 'easy' list, I guess. PRO is easy to use (except the late lamented Walls gold overflow trick I never managed), but kind of useless. AGG also.

    I never found SPI that hard to use (diplo bonuses from accepting fave civic/religion, then switch back/ or swap into Slavery or Nationalism for war buildup). Tricking non-SPI civs into costly civic switches took more practice.
     
  7. sampsa

    sampsa Ghost

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    For me, the most interesting part in this topic is how people playing lower levels often overrate ORG. It is supposed to be better the higher difficulty you go. In general, I think lymond's list is accurate.
     
  8. dankok8

    dankok8 Elected World Leader

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    I like Lymond's list but I disagree with Agg being in the same tier as Pro. Agg gives a large edge in early rushes with cheap Barracks plus specialized promo (usually Cover). I can think of a few games where an early rush wouldn't be on the table without Agg. And even later in the game, that extra promo means you're usually trading better than 60/40 even with same units. I'd put Agg in the same tier with Imp and Org even if it is the weakest of them. It's closer to them than Pro which is by far the worst trait.

    Spi is the one trait I've really started to love. You can pull off really neat tricks and it's the most difficult one to measure. Just the diplo flexibility can save many games.
     
  9. Orion Pax

    Orion Pax Warlord

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    ^This. While not affording power moves like major PHI or IND gambits, I find the functionality of automatic border expansion (which is 2X as fast and starts immediately) so desirable much of the time. Especially early in the game, where each tile is a major portion of your economy and key resources are do-or-die. It's not a given a city will have lots of forests to chop a monument or good production, and if they do, better to chop a granary or library or worker or settler. Which in-turn helps with expansion.

    Cities can be placed in optimal positions, without worrying about having to have best tiles in the first ring. Or the second ring: If there is a key resource that would pull the placement away from good tiles, you can instead factor in gaining it on the expansion to the third ring (which happens quicker with 4 :culture: once your library is up). So that's a long-term benefit. In a game that really seems to be about playing the map, Creative is a trait I really feel.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2020
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  10. SittinDown

    SittinDown King

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    So, I think we've all seen traits ranked by "good vs bad". what if we rank traits on another axis.

    Active -> Passive:
    • Need to think to get something out of it:
      • Spiritual
      • Philosophical
    • Mixed
      • Imperialistic
      • Charismatic
      • Industrious
      • Protective (still stinks)
    • Useful without trying:
      • Creative
      • Financial
      • Aggressive
    or

    Map types:
    • Especially useful for big open maps or avoiding getting boxed in:
      • Imperialistic
      • Creative
    • Especially useful on ocean maps:
      • Organized
      • Financial
    Creative is better on pangea over archipelago. It's probably more impactful on smaller rather than bigger maps.
    Imperialistic is better on pangea over islands. Probably even better on marathon.

    et cetera.....
     
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  11. DigitalBoy

    DigitalBoy Emperor

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    Creative is okay, but the fast border pop isn't always so important that you need a trait for it. A lot of the time I'll just have my early cities use the inner ring tiles to start with and then get the initial border pop from a whipped library (after building a granary first). Still gets the fat cross reasonably fast without having to waste the hammers on a monument.

    Frankly, I don't see the point of Imperialistic. For my money, it's the dumbest and most bland trait in the game. At least Protective is kind of cool once you get gunpowder units. All Imperialistic does is let you whip settlers for 2 population points instead of 3, and if I wanted a trait for saving early production I'd just play Expansive instead.

    Spiritual is a trait I recognize the power of, but it's not a trait I can stand to play with. I already micromanage my games enough without having to throw constant civic changes into the equation. Temples are also a pretty subpar building to have a bonus for.

    Charismatic is pretty decent just because you don't always have a lot of options for increasing happiness right from the start of the game. Granted, part of that bonus is attached to the monument, which is less than ideal, but any way to increase happiness pre-Monarchy is a godsend when you don't get early luxuries or religion.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2020
  12. FlyinJohnnyL

    FlyinJohnnyL You need more workers....

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    Getting your settler out earlier when you're racing the AI for a spot cannot be underestimated. Also, the extra great generals are a nice benefit as well that often gets overlooked-let's be honest here. 95% of us are warmongers, we WILL benefit from that aspect of the Imperialistic trait pretty much every game.

    It's certainly not one of the best traits, but I'd take it over protective every time.
     
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  13. SnipedSoul

    SnipedSoul Chieftain

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    I think spiritual is the best trait because of how much flexibility it gives you.

    Need a great person? Caste system + pacifism.

    Building infrastructure? Bureaucracy + organized religion

    War time? Vassalage/nationhood + slavery + theocracy

    AI asks you to switch religion/civics? No problem, you can easily switch back in a few turns

    Want to get an AI to friendly for trading? You can switch into their religion + favorite civic and then switch back.

    The only downside to spiritual is that you need to pay attention to get the most out of it.

    Edit: This isn't even to mention the potential for espionage. It is easy to flip the AI out of religions or civics, which can provide an immediate benefit, but also cause them anarchy turns if they want to switch back.
     
  14. dankok8

    dankok8 Elected World Leader

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    Good post and an interesting way of looking at it. I'd probably put Creative as passive and maybe Charismatic... the only thought you put into Cha is whether to build a Monument for +1 happy when you don't need a border pop which you wouldn't if you weren't Cha. Aggressive I can agree as well. It's there for you. Financial does take some effort to leverage though. Your cities should work 2+ commerce tiles which means more emphasis on riverside cottages... and non-seafood coast which you will avoid as a non-Financial leader. Plenty of tile management in the early game. I would put it in the middle category. I guess Pro is a bit active in a sense that you may try to build more Walls/Castles in border cities which are excessively cheap for Pro. And maybe some boosted Longbows which provide lengthy insurance until AI's get Rifling...

    Active:

    Phi
    Spi

    Middle:

    Ind
    Fin
    Pro
    Imp

    Passive:

    Cre
    Cha
    Agg
     
  15. crullerdonut

    crullerdonut Chieftain

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    I've found that, even though Protective is the worst trait, it's still not too bad if you have Stone. If you have Stone, then just spam Walls/Castles in all your cities to get the +1 Trade Route :traderoute: everywhere. With Protective and Stone, Walls and Castles are practically free. Then, simply avoid Economics like the plague. By doing so, you can use the spare :science: to get other necessary technologies, like Replaceable Parts and Rifling, and then make a beeline to Communism. (Who says you need to understand Economics in order to research Communism?) Hopefully at that point, you can just ride your Cavalry to victory. The fly in the ointment is that Engineering is ludicrously expensive to research yourself, so it's probably best to just trade for it.

    You can also use Castles' +25% :espionage: bonus by going with a kind of Espionage Economy for awhile, to pick up any missing techs that you need. Of course, the :espionage: economy is finicky and rather luck-based, and you can only ever hope to reach parity with your neighbors. Unless you plan for the :espionage: from Turn 0--avoiding all Wonders except the Great Wall and making sure your first Great Person is a Great Spy (for the Scotland Yard to put in your Bureaucracy cottage capital)--then the strategy is infeasible for ages, until you get a Jail with Constitution. And it only really works well if you have a Tech-oriented neighbor that you plan to attack, due to the insane diplo penalties you'll rack up.

    So really, with this Protective strategy, you're dependent on a lot of things going right: 1. getting Stone, 2. being able to trade for Engineering at a decent rate, 3. being able to leverage an :espionage: economy, if that's necessary.

    By the way, if you're playing as Saladin (Spiritual/Protective) and you have early Stone, then not only can you do the cheap Castle spam for +1 Trade Routes :traderoute:, but instead of :espionage:, focus on a Religious type economy. First, build the Pyramids ("cheap" with Stone) and go Representation (with no Anarchy). Use a Madrassa to get out a Great Scientist to bulb Philosophy, and build the Angkor Wat (cheap with Stone) for super-Priests (with Representation, each Angkor Wat Priest provides 2:hammers:/1:gold:/3:science:). Also use the Madrassa to get out a Great Prophet and Bulb your way to Theology, research Paper real quick, and build the University of Sankore (cheap with Stone). Bulb the usually-useless Divine Right to build the Spiral Minaret (also cheap with Stone). With your cheap Temples and your numerous Monasteries, those latter two Wonders provide large passive :gold: and :science:. If you or your religious friends build the Apostolic Palace, then you get passive :hammers: too. I've tried this strategy just for variety's sake, and it was very fun. Again, though, you must have early Stone, or else it just ain't happening.
     
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  16. sampsa

    sampsa Ghost

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    I don't think castles are very good, but maybe worth building if PRO+stone.

    "Religious economy" on the other hand is utter nonsense. Waste of :hammers: on weak wonders and waste of :gp:.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2020
  17. Fippy

    Fippy Mycro Junkie Queen

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    Not sure if Phi has to be that "active", no rocket science needed for a library + 2 scientists ;)
    I would say Ind needs more thought (which failgold or early wonder).
     
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  18. ArchGhost

    ArchGhost Prince

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    Sensibilities are always changing but in general for the human player

    PHI is above all the others by some margin
    PRO is the worst by a good margin

    Having to do mostly with the magnitude of the advantages they give. On higher difficulty in more standard play (where tech trading will be a thing and you aren't dominating the field early to do whatever you want for the rest of the game), PHI is crazy strong; it allows you to create an advantage out of nowhere and then use it to either catch up or close out the game. PRO just tends to suck except in very specific scenarios where you are intentionally setting up to deflect an attack or abusing the promos on a specific unit (Qin chokus or Toku Rifles, have heard things about Machine Guns, etc).

    The rest fall in between with only a a mild degree of separation from one another, which gets shuffled up a bit by personal preferences. I don't deny that they are not equal, but as you play with them more and understand what they do and how to abuse them, you'll gravitate toward the ones you like more.

    Ex. IND, CRE, and FIN are all among the better traits, but which is better than the other depends on what you like and how much you abuse it.

    AGG, and IMP are among the lower traits, but are still quite useful when properly applied.

    ORG, CHA, SPI, EXP are all middling. I don't think any of them are particularly strong but all are useful in a general sense, and preference plays a great deal here. I love ORG but tend to crap on SPI, for instance.

    my personal tier list these days would look something like:
    Spoiler :

    Top
    PHI - always good, always powerful. Can synergize with other traits or stand alone by itself. All PHI leaders tend to be good picks, except arguably Alex, though that's more about Greece than him.



    High
    CRE - free border pops are no joke for ease of settlement, help in border wars and overall speed your early game advancement. Cheap Libraries are also very very nice, compared to the cheaper Granaries of EXP, since Libraries are more expensive despite also being early. With CRE they go from "where only feasible" to "where's a spot with +4 food?" With spammed Libraries you can quickly be on your way to the first couple GS, heavily reinforce borders, or just bump your beaker rate up. It also has synergy with PHI,IMP, and IND (getting Mids is fantastic for CRE leaders). I liked this trait as newbie and love it even more now with a bit more practice, for the early game awesomeness and how it follows through, allowing quick economic setup (even recovery, by pushing to Currency with scientists while being broke), works well whether isolated or surrounded, etc.

    FIN - very straightforward trait, adding +1 commerce to any 2C or higher plot. Not entirely passive as you have to utilize those tiles and purpose the commerce well; it's not a win button, but rather a cushion. The most obvious way is through cottaging, which instantly jump 50% in yield if placed on a river or 200% if worked for only 10 turns on flatland. In particular my favorite thing about FIN is how it enhances tiles you'd normally pass over and let's you get a little creative with making decent tiles to work like:
    -water tiles with a Lighthouse. Even more so if they are lake tiles, and give +3f3C
    -cottaging Dye/Silk for a high commerce yield tile or Banana/Sugar for high food yield cottage, if these are riverside even more impressive. Spices if green land too.
    -cottaging riverside wine for an enhanced brown cottage

    IND - Only trait that will directly help you with the GLH (though ORG does a bit indirectly), helps out in the race for Mids (expensive) or Great Wall (goes early) if you want to try for them, enhances Stonehenge/ToA fail gold. That's in the early game. Later you can stack huge amounts of failgold and then use it to fuel economic pushes toward things like Music, Lib, Astro, or military tech like Chemistry/Steel, etc. I also really like IND when not having marble, as I utilize National Epic regularly and try to build Taj in just about every game I can. Cheap forges are also really nice, but not the sort of thing I'd personally really rush for, just nice to have when putting infrastructure down all around in prep for war or perhaps in one high hammer city earlier (like HE city or to build wonders).

    So why is it so high tier? Because of the sheer amount of fail-gold you can get with it can be mind-boggling in some games (over 2 or 3k on the right wonder), especially if compounded with a building resource like Stone, modifiers like OR and forges, or chopping aggressively, and because you can stretch raw gold further with things like Libraries. Banking on stuff like Chichen Itza, Shwedagon Paya, or Angkor Wat is usually a good bet for a few hundred gold with IND leaders resource or not, as the AIs give you a little time to work these without taking forever to complete them and they are largely worthless. Earlier fare like Parthenon and MoM can work too, as does Sistine (since SOMEONE will complete it eventually) but work better if you already have Marble to help make the most of the shorter window.



    Mid
    ORG - this is my personal favorite trait as I play heavily expansive a lot, and it directly helps with that by reducing civic costs (calculated by your total empire population ie. more cities = more pop = more cost) and cheapening courthouses to 2 pop whip, making them super easy to spam. Before courthouses, you can support another 2-3 cities maybe with ORG reduction before crashing compared to a non-ORG leader, making it more feasible to settle out to block off AIs, take primo spots first, add in additional help cities, etc. After courthouses you found anywhere you want (to an extent, colonial stuff still hurts). ORG is also a great war time trait as war civics tend to be more expensive, each city you take will have less economic impact, and you can cold whip courthouses in captured cities for 3 pop to instantly shave costs when it come online. Cheap lighthouses make any coastal city easy to bring online and speed the GLH (though it also removes 2pop overflow option into it). Cheap Factories is actually a really nice thing to have especially if you go to AL quickly, they can normally be quite expensive to slow build but ORG leader may roughly ~3-5turn factories in mature cities.

    CHA - the real winning part of this trait is extra happy you get by default and quickly after a monument. Cities with only slightly improved happy caps are just able to do more in terms of whipping, growing to run specialists, or working cottages in the earlier stages of the game at low pops. You will also especially feel the impact of this if isolated or otherwise in a luxury resource crunch, which can cause the value of this trait to fluctuate a bit and makes it better for "harder" map setups. In particular, having this trait can make it so you don't have to crutch on Monarchy/HR or AI religion/trades as much to function, which can save you some tech detouring. The reduced unit XP for promos is decent as it applies to all units and helps get to that coveted 3-promo level, where units start to get really enhanced (Formation is 3rd level, for instance, and Pinch+Shock really enhances success when attacking AIs with Cuirs when they start picking up Muskets, etc). It should be noted that for melee or Gunpowder units AGG is actually better for faster promos.



    Low
    AGG - I really like this trait but it lacks broad application. AGG makes warriors better against barbs, and able to promote quickly to take Cover/Shock to make them even better especially if you build a cheap 25h Barracks. Cheap barracks removes using them for 2pop overflows though :( Later on the same thing applies to Axes, enhancing any rush potential you have with them. One can also cold 2pop whip barracks for overflow as opposed to investing up 19 hammers. Being able to promote Medics at will also increases flexibility at any stage of the game, even with Rifles. Finally the free C1 promo allows faster promotion up the Combat tree until I think it was promo 7 or 8 compared to CHA. Solid trait, too bad it's completely unit focused.

    IMP - Personally I am liking IMP a lot more these days for settler spamming, which can be very helpful for blocking AI settling, gifting cities for diplo or to prevent the AI settling a spot that would ruin one you want, and especially for recovering some lost turns on a poor start. If for nothing else, it allows you to quickly settle out a better spot/a few more cities to make up for a rough capitol, and I love that option.
    Look how it helps me here:

    I went NW looking for seafood, found none, decided 2 FP were enough with all the raw hammers + IMP, and still got 2 more cities founded by T41, 7-8 approaching T100. Quick detour into Myst to pop borders ASAP and it was off to the races with Pottery + wonder spam. It's not like, an ideal start, but Nottingham did the heavy lifting for further expansion after this and York kept it funded. Nottingham also has GLib + NE, London grabbed Mids+Parthenon+MoM+Colossus with all its raw hammers keeping it busy. A nice little building game that was prevented from being cornered in by IMP.

    A really neat thing about IMP is that it makes overflow into Settlers much more effective, meaning you can manage your growth and development with bit more more flexibility, since overflowing Granaries/Lighthouses/Axes or even workers are all effective ways to quickly get a settler out too instead of growing to the target threshold of 4 or 6 and working for maximum overflow off the settler whip. Get a lot more use out of your happy threshold that way.

    EXP
    - I do not like this trait. Health bonus is inconsequential except in the most extreme of starts, the worker bonus is weak enough at 25% that it's situational when it shaves turns or not (I also tend to just whip or overflow complete workers anyway) leaving just the Granary cheapening bonus. Thing is, Granaries are easily 2 pop whipped or 1 chop + 1 pop whipped as is, and are important enough to do just that. I don't like how the trait removes a lot of the applications of overflowing Granary whips. All that said...it DOES get the granaries up faster, and can save turns here and there on workers, allowing for earlier application of worker turns -- making this a PERFECT trait for whipping/chopping a rush attack out. You combine this with AGG (Shaka) or CHA (Washington) and you have an excellent early warfare potential. Other than that though, I'd rather have any of the other early game traits first.

    SPI - I have said many times what I think of this trait. I understand it. I have used it. I just don't think it's that consequential. This trait, rather than direct advantages, gives you potential boons, and while the same exact thing can be said about every other trait ("it's situational"), it's never more true than with SPI. Eliminating anarchy is probably the weakest aspect of the trait other than the temple reduction, when you have learned to mitigate it yourself or to play around it (such as timing GAs). Diplomatically, one can have a field day with this trait given how the AI gives so much priority to religion, and it can be great fun to do so, but wholly unnecessary. If any of the traits most qualify as "icing on top" it's this one.



    Bad
    PRO - it's not that it doesn't do anything useful, it's just that what it does offer advantages for are unlikely to come up in standard play. Walls are already cheap like a Barracks, and you'll never need to have them....until you need them (seems redundant?). In fact, I hate that it removes 2 pop whipping Walls for overflow, a theme I've already expressed, as they are one of the builds you can utilize for this purpose on the GLH, Mids, or GW since all require Masonry. Castles need never be built unless you're Spain, honestly, and not least because that requires Engineering anyway besides needing to spend 75 hammers (need walls too) for a single trade route in each city. The unit promos can be fun, but even compared to AGG are more specific in application. Cho-ko-nu rush, archer choke rush with Charlie, Toku draft rifles...and that's about it? I have heard about SB Longbows/Xbows too and super machinegun defenders. Lain has demonstrated the exact tactic where this trait would be especially powerful (twice, I think), by settling a defensive city in front of a neighboring warmonger. The issue is that situation is very specific, and is also about hurting them through delay more than helping yourself. Well beyond dying, I guess, but that's a product of the situation you're already in by that point.



    The biggest downside to spiritual is that you have to change your civics/religion to get any use out of it (well, outside of actually building temples). It's 100% a dynamic trait in practice. If you aren't planning on swapping much (I know I don't like to flip much once I'm GP farming, set up in SP in the end game, or whipping for an earlier war!) or have learned to play the game without it/by reducing or accommodating swaps like with the other 81% of the leader field, then it gives you minimal advantage at all. Oh hey, a turn of anarchy saved on the slavery swap, neat and unexpected...moving on. 1 more on HR swap, I'll take it. 1 more saved on the swap into Caste/Philo if I don't get the music GA or GSpy/GM/GE from a wonder. Maybe 2-3 more when I pick up Communism. Wow. All other swaps are done in a Golden Age (usually 2 a game, though can get away with just 1). Not everybody plays the game the same way as me (and not to say that I know what I'm doing so much better than anyone else) but I fail to see just how it's so super impactful, saving a handful of anarchy turns.

    The strongest part of SPI is the diplomatic side, allowing one to flip religions (mostly, sometimes specific civics) at will in order to gain momentary favor. It is interesting and it does allow one to do unique things, but it's hardly that powerful itself when you have a handle on progressing the game with minimal anarchy and understand diplomacy. I'd only rate Gandhi highly with it as he pairs with the perfect trait for this behavior and his civ is also decent since that UU is incredible and starts with Mining.
     
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  19. SnipedSoul

    SnipedSoul Chieftain

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    I find SPI most useful in the mid-game. I tend to have a few really big cities that benefit from caste/philo, and a bunch of smaller cities that still want to whip. I can't sit in caste too early or my small cities will never build anything, so SPI lets me maximize my GPP as soon as I have CoL instead of waiting for guilds to make workshops viable.

    I only play on monarch/emperor, though, so I can generally research faster on my own than waiting for the AI to help me backfill techs.
     
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  20. crullerdonut

    crullerdonut Chieftain

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    Spiritual leaders are also the only ones who can hope to get much use out of seldom-used civics like Serfdom. There are occasionally times in the mid-game, before Workshops are useful, when whipping is not efficient for your immediate needs and when you don't need (or can't use) the extra room for specialists that Caste System gives. Then, to get a little bit extra optimization, you can switch into Serfdom for a few turns for the Low civic cost. Heck, maybe you can get a couple extra improvements built during those 5 Serfdom turns, too.

    I've also had the occasion while playing as Montezuma, that I had just built a bunch of Factories/Coal Plants, and had bad :yuck: issues. I researched Medicine and immediately switched into Environmentalism, which markedly improved my economy due to removing all the :yuck:-induced starvation that I was experiencing. Only a few turns later, I got my Great Merchant out and founded Sid's Sushi. Once it expanded into a couple cities, I could switch out of Environmentalism and into Free Market; the Sushi :food: could then compensate for the :yuck:. Had I not been playing a Spiritual leader, I wouldn't have been able to use those few turns of Environmentalism for the :health:.

    The same can be said with the religion civics: in the early game, if your only choice is between Organized Religion and Paganism and you've been in OR for building up infrastructure, but then you suddenly need to switch into producing all units for war instead of buildings, then Paganism surprisingly becomes an attractive option, just for the Low civic cost. (For this reason, Paganism might be the most viable of all default civics in the game.) If you're not playing a Spiritual leader, then you probably won't be able to do that.

    So, Spiritual really can open up little gains in efficiency which are just not feasible for non-Spiritual leaders.
     
    Kaiman and Orion Pax like this.

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